©2006 - text and photos by John and Susy Pint

Updated Se;ptember, 2013


A curious and picturesque mountain lies hidden in the hills between Guadalajara and Mascota. Local people call it La Campana (The Bell), but when you get up close to it you'll not see a bell, but a series of strange, sweeping shapes that you'd swear must have been sculpted by Antonio Gaudí or Salvador Dalí. Who else would put frozen waves of rock on top of a mountain? Of course, instead of breaking waves, you may see something quite different. Whatever the case, please watch your step. There are no guard rails or rangers here to protect you and a false step could be fatal.
After soaking up this semi-psychedelic view, feast your eyes on the panoramic view on all sides below you. If by now you're not feeling some powerfully positive vibrations, you're definitely a hopeless case. Visiting extraordinary places like this may help us understand how some mountain peoples (for example, the Koreans) were able to maintain a healthy outlook during centuries of repression.

The description above comes from our book Outdoors in Western Mexico, published in 1998. Recently, in 2006, we revisited La Campana after an absence of many years. To our surprise, we found both the mountain itself and our favorite camping area at its base, in absolutely pristine condition. This is definitely one of the best places to camp and hike in all of western Mexico!

The Psychedelic Bell is located about 26 kms southeast of Mascota, just off the Ameca-Mascota highway and you can get there by car from Guadalajara in just over two hours. This one of the places to which we sometimes organize small-group tours. If you're interested, please contact us at 31 51 16 12 in Guadalajara.


From the campsite, you climb up a hill covered with pine trees and oaks. Here we see Susy heading uphill, bravely resisting the temptation to investigate the many orchids in the tree branches.



When the forest ends, the bald mountain begins. At this point a large deer surprised us and raced across the base of the mountain. It was the first wild deer we'd ever seen in Mexico, after 20 years of hiking in the boonies.


Suddenly, strange looking shapes appear on the horizon.




They are shaped like giant waves about to crash.




At the top of La Campana.




Bizarre shapes stir the imagination.





Naturally sculpted seats beckon the weary hiker...




Susy Pint


...and you can relax, even inside the Hippo's Jaws.



Alberto Cortes takes a breather


There's room for the whole family!



The Cortes family


Rosa CortesSonia Calvillo



...and the view is out of this world!


Down the steep mountainside and back to camp.





Hmmm, can I get another cup of java out of the old coffee sock?



John Pint


John and Susy Pint